| Article By Kath on Nov 30, 2002 |
AT SEA INTERVIEW
At Sea have been going since late 2000. The band originally came together when Martin Evans (drums) and Iain Downie (guitar) started playing together about three years ago. They'd originally met through their respective other bands that had been playing on the same bills. They played together as a two-piece with just guitar and drums for a year and a half until they hooked up with well -known Melbourne indie-icon Richard Moffat taking over on vocals bass and piano.
All three members are involved in other projects as well including Disaster Plan, Fibrotown and The Breakdowns but At Sea are not a side-project. Martin explains: "I think it's a main thing for all of us, yeah. Obviously Richard's got quite a few records out with Disaster Plan and Iain and I are both busy with other things but I don't think we look at At Sea as a side-project. I guess if you organize your time well you can have more than one main band."
The band are looked after by Emma from Oneyedog Management who also puts on the regular Eaze nights at venues around town supporting up and coming talent of all kinds, not just of the musical variety. Oneyedog manage some excellent acts including Laura Jean, who is doing At Sea's CD Launch.
At Sea have just released their debut album entitled 'Listening to some other Songs about that'. The CD was completed in January of this year and is the band's first record, a culmination of three years of songs and encompasses more than the usual three-piece live band with the inclusion of strings and horns.
"We just thought we didn't necessarily have to have the record sounding the same as live performance and a lot of the songs are almost really melodic and they just sort of lent themselves to having extra parts in there so we thought if we could grab strings and horns, we'd just sort of make it sound richer and a bit more interesting."
For the launch Martin is hoping to have the horn player on the CD as a special guest to flesh out the three-piece sound.
At Sea's music flows along the same path as The Dirty Three and Godspeed with many moods and textures and all three members contributing to the writing process, resulting in them already having enough material for a second full-length album they are hoping to release next year. What inspires At Sea's music?
"I'm not sure exactly what inspires anyone to write but in terms of the process generally Iain will write something and we'll sit down and kinda shape it and then Richard comes in and puts vocal lines to it and at the moment we still do that to a certain extent…when Richard comes in he makes it all very different. I guess we're starting to write more with the three of us but it generally starts with me and Iain."
The CD is out on Unstable Ape Records through MGM, which happened at the last minute for the band.
"Yeah that was funny actually 'cause Tim who runs Unstable Ape, I play in another band with him, The Breakdowns, and we were just about to press the record, I think the day before we were just gonna press it ourselves, we'd sent it out to a few people but for some reason we overlooked Tim, then Tim expressed a bit of interest, I think he heard it the night before we were gonna press it on our own and he really liked it so at the very last minute we ended up with Unstable Ape, which is great."
Coming from the whole Fitzroy scene and playing regularly at venues such as the now defunct Punters Club I asked Martin what his thoughts were on Melbourne losing such an influential original band venue.
"It's funny 'cause I drove past there with my brother last night on the way home and I think it's just opened up and we both kinda went, yuk and I was thinking that it's just odd that a place that was so vibrant and was doing as well as The Punters Club sorta disappeared. It wasn't struggling. I do realize there are other issues involved and something doesn't always keep existing just 'cause it does well but it was just sad and a bit strange that it disappeared.
The Rob Roy's the only thing that's come up since then. Obviously it hasn't got the same feel but it does seem to be booking a lot of the bands that otherwise would've been at the Punters and that's kinda good."
At Sea's CD is out through Unstable Ape Records.